City and county directories are similar to telephone books and are useful for locating people. They were often published annually, listing heads of households, employed household members, and their occupations and addresses. They can be used with census records or as substitutes for them.
Directories are particularly helpful for research in large cities where a high percentage of the people were renters, new arrivals, or temporary residents. In fact, they may be the only source to list an ancestor who was not registered to vote, did not attend church, did not pay taxes, or did not own property. Most households were included because the directories were created for salesmen, merchants, and others interested in contacting residents of an area. They are also useful tools for studying occupations and migration patterns.
Directories of heads of households have been published for major cities in Indiana. For example, the Family History Library has directories for:
- 1855–1861 Family History Library fiche 6043992–96
- 1861–1935 Family History Library films beginning with 1376923
- 1940, 1957, 1964, 1970, 1974 Family History Library book 977.252 E4p
- 1858–1861 Family History Library fiche 6043896-97
- 1863–1934 Family History Library films beginning with 1376851
- 1902–1910 Family History Library films 186562–66
- 1948 Family History Library book 977.233/E1 E4
For 1858 and 1859, people in professions and trades in most Indiana cities and towns are listed by city in:
G. W. Hawes’ Indiana State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1858 and 1859. Indianapolis, Indiana: Geo. W. Hawes, 1859. (Family History Library book 977.2 E4g)
Directories are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
- INDIANA- DIRECTORIES
- INDIANA, [COUNTY]- DIRECTORIES
- INDIANA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- DIRECTORIES
- Indianapolis City Directory Collection
- Indiana City Directories at DistantCousin
- Evansville, Indiana 1922 City Residential Directory
- US City Directories This web site identifies printed, microfilmed, and online directories and their repositories.